IN other places around the world, stoushes are fought with clubs, guns and bombs.
Only in beautiful Bendigo do we do battle with... helium balloons.
It’s been a fascinating medium of debate: the bright, multi-coloured balloons supporting the Bendigo mosque proposal versus the almost sinister black balloons of the opponents.
But here’s a curious thing.
In various places around the world, including New South Wales, it’s illegal to release helium balloons.
The fear is they damage the environment, could be swallowed by wildlife or damage powerlines.
Other jurisdictions say that just a lot of, err, hot air. Mostly, they go up to about 3000 metres, burst into little bits and float to earth where they eventually decay.
City of tunnels
The Addy story this week about the secret war-time escape tunnel from the old Post Office in Pall Mall to somewhere near the present library sparked a bit of discussion.
Bendigo’s no stranger to secret tunnels. Here’s a couple DTM can think of.
The (now not so) secret tunnel connecting the Bendigo hospital with the Anne Caudle Centre. It’s now a well documented thing, but for a long time was almost unknown.
There is rumoured to have been an escape tunnel built into the basement of the old Shamrock Hotel, apparently for the convenience of wayward husbands and wobbly worthies.
In 1937, the nation’s media was all a-twitter with news of a secret tunnel found linking the Little 180 Mine on Victoria Hill with the Central Blue mine, and it was claimed Lansell’s Little 180 people had nicked about 1700 tonnes of ore from its neighbour. Mysteriously, a massive amount of gelignite exploded in the area before the matter got to court.
There are also said to be secret tunnels at Lansell’s old home, Fortuna Villa, running beneath the house and linking it with bolt-holes and a secret gold repository.
One of the odd knock-ons of the mosque issue was the way people in other parts of the world described Bendigo.
One ABC online site called us a country town. One international website referred to Bendigo as a “remote outback community”.
We guess they didn’t notice that the debate took place in the CITY of Greater Bendigo?
Way to go
We know it’s important to plan what you want to do with your property and stuff when you die, but there’s something delightfully odd about spreading the awareness of this with a “Free Family Fun Day” in Bendigo today.
From 10am the family will be out having free fun while you can get to grips with advice from State Trustees about what happens when you pop off the mortal coil.
It’s part of something called “I Will Week” and includes face painting, a free sausage sizzle and a special Dragon Show.
In our house, there’s a saying: ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a Way-Hey!”